Arun Jaitley, JP Nadda, Ravi Shankar Prasad among eight ministers likely to seek renomination to Rajya Sabha
There will be 59 vacancies in the Upper House in April, including 17 from BJP and 12 from Congress.india Updated: Jan 15, 2018 22:32 IST
Eight Union ministers will complete their current tenure in the Rajya Sabha in April, necessitating their renomination to the Upper House.
These include finance minister Arun Jaitley, health minister JP Nadda, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan, and human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar among others. They may not have any reason to worry, though.
There will be 59 vacancies in the Upper House in April, including 17 from BJP and 12 from Congress. Three nominated members — actor Rekha, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and social worker Anu Aga — will also retire then.
The eight ministers will have no difficulty in securing another term, though some might have to be nominated from another state.
Prasad and Pradhan, for instance, represent Bihar in Parliament, but with its current strength in the state assembly, the BJP can bring only one of them back. Of six seats falling vacant in Bihar, the BJP has two and Janata Dal (United) has four.
Going by the party position in the assembly, Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal and the JD(U) will get two each while the BJP is set to secure one. The BJP will be left with surplus votes but could fall short of about a dozen votes to get the sixth seat.
While the saffron party may still hope to secure the requisite number to win the sixth seat, a party leader said it was unlikely that the BJP would field a minister in such a contest. In that scenario, Pradhan might have to seek nomination from another state. The JD(U)-BJP coalition candidate will also win the seventh Rajya Sabha seat, which fell vacant following the disqualification of Sharad Yadav, if election is held simultaneously in April.
Jaitley and two Union ministers of state — Parshottam Rupala and Mansukh L Mandaviya — who represent Gujarat in the RS will also retire in April. All four seats from Gujarat falling vacant are with the BJP, which is likely to lose at least one to the Congress that improved its tally in the assembly in the last poll.
Javadekar’s term from Madhya Pradesh comes to an end and he is likely to be nominated from Maharashtra now. Javadekar was elected from MP in 2014 against a vacancy caused by the election of Faggan Singh Kulaste to the Lok Sabha. Social justice minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot whose term also ends in April is likely to get another term.
Nadda, a member of Rajya Sabha from Himachal Pradesh, is comfortably placed to secure his return from the hill state.
BJP is the single-largest party in Rajya Sabha with 58 seats, one more than the Congress’ tally.